Don’t Worry – Be Happy
My daughter called me from campus today. She is attending the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. She said, “Dad, did you see the article in the Arizona Republic about our state lawmakers wanting to stop all 'green efforts' in our state because they say it’s ‘really not important’?”
I had to apologize to her. I normally keep up to date on current events, but after last week's insane Trayvon Martin revelations, SCOTUS’s ACA arguments and the court's strip-search decision, I decided to spend a few days away from the news and concentrate on Cactus League Baseball.
Anyway, she brought up a point that is very critical to all of us. It is not just Arizona that is being inundated with potential state legislation that is destined to destroy our environment. It is happening throughout our nation. There is a well-financed effort by a very select group of the one-percenters to place anti-green laws on the books in every state in this country.
SB 1507 was introduced by Arizona State Senator Judy Burges, a Republican from Sun City. Senator Burges, a member of the Arizona Tea Party, stated that her bill would:
“Shut down any government-led environmental initiative, such as Energize Phoenix, a $25 million, stimulus-funded project to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses along the light-rail corridors in central Phoenix.”
"’This is the most ludicrous bill I've ever seen in six years in the Legislature,’ House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said.
With this legislation; 'you could pretty much shut down any form of government sustainability’ efforts,' he added. The bill would bar the state and Arizona counties and cities ‘from adopting or implementing the United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development’
Under the provisions of Burges' bill, the state, counties and cities could not accept funds from, spend funds from or give funds to ‘certain non-governmental organizations,’ including non-profit groups and contractors, for any of the declaration's initiatives."
The U.N. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development that Senator Campbell referred to represents one of the most important global envirnomental guidelines established for the 21st century. It states:
Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home, the nations meeting at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro adopted a set of principles to guide future development. These principles define the rights of people to development, and their responsibilities to safeguard the common environment. They build on ideas from the Stockholm Declaration at the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.
The Rio Declaration states that the only way to have long term economic progress is to link it with environmental protection. This will only happen if nations establish a new and equitable global partnership involving governments, their people and key sectors of societies. They must build international agreements that protect the integrity of the global environmental and the developmental system.
The puppet-masters at the Tea Party have been incensed by the guidelines introduced at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro ever since 1992. And, unfortunately, one of our Arizona state senators has bought into their hype. Senator Burges is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The wording in her SB 1057 legislation comes right out of the playbook of the Koch-funded, anti-environmental ALEC group.
This is the most important point coming out of the article that my daughter directed me to today. We, the people of Arizona, are seeing our state government being taken over by a small group of undemocratic, ant-environmental elitists. According to this report, over 60% of our Arizona state legislators are members of ALEC. And, they depend on the deep pockets of the ALEC fat cats to keep them in office.
I told my daughter that there is a very strong likelihood that Senator Burges’ anti-green bill will pass.
Only because the 1%ers paid for it to happen.